"So that's what you were thinking about?"
I jerked in my seat as James appeared in the doorway, Grey no where to be seen. He knows everything... The mind-reader shoulders sagged as he shrugged. "Not really. But I can tell that you're bone tired, follow me, I'll show you to a place you can sleep." Casting a glance at the old man, he merely nodded, a confirmation that it was acceptable. Bone tired indeed, my movements felt weighed down as I stood and followed James into the hall, eyelids heavy. I suppose falling through dimensions, waking up in a hospital and then being held in prison briefly will do that.
"There aren't enough rooms in this house, so you'll have to share one with Grey and I, since it's the only one with an extra bed." He looked over his shoulder at me, almost with pity. I merely nodded, exhausted and in desperate need of sleep. The stairs creaked beneath our feet as we made our way up to the second floor. A yawn slipped through my fingers as James opened a door to our left. "Right through here." A thank you became lodged half way up my throat as I choked on the sight of Grey half-way undressed.
An unusually high pitched scream resulted in me floundering in panic to get back out the door, which left me to run face first into the door frame in my haste. Now wide awake, I slammed the door behind me, squeezing my eyes shut. A low whistle was followed by a chuckle as James smiled mischievously down at me. "You..." I struggled to find the right insult. "You knew he was in there." "Maybe. Maybe not. Consider it a rite of passage. It's hard to deny that both my brother and I are attractive, but I haven't heard that thought cross your mind once. Which is refreshing." James held out a his hand, still smiling. I eyed it disapprovingly, but eventually felt myself crack a grin, and took it. "He did scream pretty high."
The mind-reader cackled, a bright gleam in his eye.
"Welcome to the Castaways, Amarla Aerial. Eirense of Pandora."
I had always been an early riser, much to Narook's chagrin when I always dragged him out with me. When the weakest rays of the Floriese sun filtered through the brother's bedroom curtains, I was already up and re-wrapping my foot bandages. Silently, padding out the door, the creaky stairs were problem that I solved by creating a thin layer of air to walk on over it. The house was silent as ever as I slipped out the door and into the forest outside.
Taking in one lungful of the fresh pine air, I let my foot sink slightly into the soft forest bed of pine needles. The earth thrummed beneath my feet and before I knew it, the world was passing by me in a blur as I broke out in a sprint. The geography of this place is baffling to me... The sudden break away of earth half a mile away told me there was a cliff. The sun won't rise for another thirty minutes... I can make it. Just like in the city streets of Riehess, I propelled myself into the air briefly to let it gather beneath me into something I could crouch on while the ground still moved.
If I had been running fast before, it was nothing compared to the air whipping my hair behind me as I dodged trees. Leaning over slightly, my fingers connected with the ground briefly, enough to tell me I was close to the drop off. I came to an abrupt stop as it suddenly loomed before me. My assumption was correct, it was facing the east, where the sun had yet to rise. The rising sun, a symbol of the Eirenses rise and spread of peace throughout Pandora. The view was breath-taking. I can see the whole mountain valley!
A wide winding river danced between the mountains on either side, stretching all the way to the horizon, where the top of the sun was beginning to show. I waited patiently, wind swirling around me as the golden sunlight turned the glittering crystal waters of the river into dazzling fire. The rays slowly climbing up the cliff face where, for a moment, it seemed to pause at my feet, but suddenly I was engulfed in the brilliant, blinding light. My eyes reflectively blinked as I raised a hand to shield them from the light. It's worth it... Every morning...
Once I adjusted to it, I crouched down to sit on the grassy cliff outcropping, a dead drop beneath my dangling feet. The most daring of Air natives from the Air kingdom would often find the highest cliff to leap from in a test of skill. If they could master the wind to slow their descent into a gentle glide, almost flying, then good for them. If not... Even the best healers powers are limited. Master Areli would never let me participate in such activities. Master Areli... At this hour I certainly would be on the grinding block with Madam Ruby, nearly being singed by fire knights. Not today though... I should return to my roots every now and then...
Rising to my feet, I inhaled deeply. Move with the flow of the energy, flexibility is key, move with the wind. My foot slid a little to the left as I pulled my hand over my head with a soft breeze. Swift, evasive... Like a leaf caught on a draft... Coiling and uncoiling, I felt my limbs loosen and bend as the wind willed it. Over time, and I lost track of time, I was wholly one with the wind and the fresh forest air engulfing me. I couldn't decipher if it was the wind moving my hands, or my hands moving the wind as I slowly pivoted around.
Suddenly, I released the energy I had been weaving around me in a immense gust of wind that rippled through the mountain valley. Trees swayed and the dancing river grew waves as the gargantuan gale I caused disappeared over the horizon. The power of the Eirense... I sank to my knees with a sigh as a sudden calm enveloped me, and a distinctly female voice rang in my head.
Angry with the sudden disturbance, the air around me grew agitated as I scrambled back away from the cliff ledge in fear. Who's there?
In my anxious state, the air that had gathered up around me lashed out instinctively, throwing Grey back. I reeled back before any harm could be dealt, but he was still left winded and on his back. I gasped in horror, scuttling over to help him up. "I am so sorry! I was... You startled me!" He shook himself, and then grinned at me, exhilarated. "That was amazing! We- James and I- We woke up and you were gone, so naturally everyone thought you had snuck off in the middle of the night. Thankfully James could sense your thoughts out here so he sent me but when I found you- You were doing the thing!" I arched an eyebrow, equal parts confused and amused. "The thing?"
"The thing! With the-" He proceeded to almost wiggle his arms, realizing he looked ridiculous, the bounty hunter stopped, chuckling. "Well... Maybe not quite like that, I'm sure you know. And the gust of wind at the end! I've never seen anything of that scale! The whole valley shook- It- It was incredible! Maybe I wouldn't have messed with you with I knew you could pack a punch like that." I rubbed my neck sheepishly, although I was no stranger to ecstatic individuals, Grey's felt... genuine. "Large scale tricks like that aren't so much for fighting, but more for releasing pent up energy. They take time to build up and trying to pinpoint that to attack one person would likely decimate the surrounding area."
The bounty hunter tucked his hands behind his back, still smiling dopily. "Well, come on, I came all the way out here for a reason. Everyone's worried you ran off." I blinked, tentatively following him. "They were... worried about me, why?" He looked at me strangely. "Why wouldn't we? The kids are none the wiser but the old man, Grey and I know that you're practically an alien. Our world is big and scary and you might have run off and gotten yourself into trouble, without breakfast no less. Remember how well you did on your own? Within a day, you managed to scare a hospital staff out of it's wits, and land yourself in jail." My lips twitched at how absurd it sounded. It's true... I don't know anything about this world, how am I supposed to root out it's evil?
The old man was waiting for us when we trotted back inside the door, his arms crossed and a grumpy expression on his already permanently displeased face. "Girl," he rumbled, "Do you know the trouble you caused? You made James all twitchy." The mind-reader stepped out behind the man, looking rather apologetic. "Sorry, Amarla, when I woke up to find you gone I assumed the worst." Grey rolled his eyes, playfully shoving his twin. "A nasty habit of his." The old man marched into the kitchen. "Breakfast is on the table, get it before it disappears."
James and Grey followed in after him, I stood there for a moment longer and listened to the sounds of children happily chattering in the next room. It's peaceful here... I'd hate to ruin that for them...